Routine use of the transradial approach in primary percutaneous coronary intervention: procedural aspects and outcomes in 2209 patients treated in a single high-volume centre

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To examine the feasibility of a routine transradial approach (TRA) in primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) for acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).


A single-centre observational study with prospective data collection.


A high-volume interventional centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Procedural data were analysed for 2209 consecutive patients presenting with STEMI without cardiogenic shock, between January 2001 and December 2008.


PPCI routinely performed by the TRA.

Main Outcome Measures

The primary outcomes of interest were the need for crossover to another vascular access site, the achievement of procedural success and their trends over time. Secondary outcome measures were trends in total procedural duration, fluoroscopy times and use of equipment.


In a total of 2209 procedures the radial artery was the primary access site, comprising 96.1% of all procedures performed during the study period. In 84 cases (3.8%) access site crossover was needed. Crossover rates decreased from 5.9% in 2001–2 to 1.5% in 2007–8 (p=0.001). The procedural success rate was 94.1%, which remained stable over the years. Despite an increased complexity of PPCI (more non-left anterior descending infarct-related arteries, thrombus aspiration and multivessel PPCI), total procedural duration decreased from 38 min (IQR 28–50) in 2001–2 to 24 min (18–33) in 2007–8, p<0.001 for trend.


Systematic use of the TRA in PPCI yields low access site crossover, high procedural success rates and excellent procedural performances. It can therefore represent the primary access site in the vast majority of STEMI patients.

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